From teaching a class without realising your fly is down to finding the right response when a student accidentally calls you ‘mum’, there’s a lot that you have to be equipped to deal with as more or less anything could happen at any time.
Below are just a handful of examples of the unexpected happening to good teachers. Even if you don’t learn anything about how to handle similar situations for yourself, at least you can have a laugh at their expense! In the interest of privacy, all names have been changed.
When you’ve messed up
Andy had a student who was really struggling at home and with school. After checking a few times, he believed that she had cheated on a test and had a long discussion with her mother about how to move forward. As the mother was leaving, he double checked the test and realised he had used the wrong key on the test she had completed, meaning she hadn’t cheated after all. Luckily the mother was just relieved and a crisis was averted.
Working from a colour-coded textbook for Microsoft Office, one teacher instructed his students to turn to the green section for Excel. When a student continued to ask ‘where’ the teacher told him off for not listening, to which the student replied “I’m colour blind.” He apologised, a lot, for that blunder.
When Steven’s mum called him at work to talk about her divorce, he got angry because of what she was saying and the fact she’d interrupted his planning. When a Year 9 came in from lunch and made a comment, he burst into tears and told the student to get out. To give him time to regain composure, he put Romeo and Juliet on the TV once the class started and apologised to the unfortunate pupil.
When you’re the butt of the joke
Trying to be the cool teacher we all dream of being, Michael took his class outside at the end of the day to play sharks and minnows (similar to British Bulldog which is played in the UK). Unfortunately, he face planted straight into the gravel, scraping his palms, knees, elbows and ribs. The fall taught Michael why you’re not meant to run in sandals and that you shouldn’t brag to 6th graders that you’re going to beat them.
Standing in front of the piano bench, one teacher was talking about Beethoven and, as he could feel the bench behind his legs, he went to sit down. However, what he hadn’t remembered was he had moved the recycling bin about 10 minutes before, so he ended up stuck in the bin rather than sat on the nearby bench. Luckily, he managed to get himself unstuck relatively quickly, but the class still had a good laugh and something to remember him by.
Another teacher had a student that was a bit of a class clown. When this student took him aside to tell him that he’d split his trousers, the teacher laughed and ignored the comment. It was only 2 classes later that he realised he should have listened.
A slip of the tongue
One teacher had developed a bit of a stutter (potentially from too much caffeine) and to compensate she was taking her time when talking in front of class. In a lesson about Algebra functions, she was bringing the class together to recap what they had been working on. Unfortunately, she got caught on the word “function” and despite her best efforts, let out a big “f*#!”. The class went wild.
So there’s a few examples of the unexpected, awkward things that can happen when you’re teaching. If you’ve got any embarrassing or funny stories from the classroom, share them (and what they taught you) with us on Twitter @CVued.